The Alberta government is providing funding to train individuals who work with children to help prevent and address abusive and harmful situations.
The Respect in School training program is being expanded to day care and day camp workers. The training offered through Respect Group has been provided to school leaders – including teachers, educational assistants, custodians and bus drivers – across Alberta and is designed to give individuals who work with children the tools to identify and address bullying, abuse, harassment and discrimination.
“Early childhood educators and day camp professionals work very closely with the children and families in their programs every day and are uniquely positioned to play a role in keeping children safe. This training will help further their skills in recognizing and responding to issues of maltreatment which will further keep children safe.”Rebecca Schulz, Minister of Children’s Services
“Giving school leaders more tools in their tool box to support our students benefits all of society, and I’m proud to be able to do so as Minister of Education. Our collective efforts to stop bullying and harassment online, in our homes, in our workplaces and in our schools must be a priority. We all have a role to play, and we must do all we can to support and protect our children.”Adriana LaGrange, Minister of Education
“This program reflects our government’s commitment towards building strong, resilient communities that support and protect each other in difficult times. By working with professionals in child care and day camps, we can give them the tools they need to help end the cycle of violence and keep kids safe.”Leela Sharon Aheer, Minister of Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women
“These are stressful and anxious times for our kids and those who interact with them each day. Proactive education to deal with these realities is key and I applaud Minister Schulz, Minister LaGrange and Minister Aheer for their collaborative leadership. I am proud to live in a province where child protection and psychological safety is a top priority.” Sheldon Kennedy, co-founder, Respect Group
“Foothills School Division was the first school jurisdiction in Alberta to require Respect in School certification. This training supports our responsibility of creating, maintaining and promoting a welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environment. Over 96 per cent of our certified users felt the program made them a ‘more child-centered leader’ which, to me, says it all!”Allen Davidson, assistant superintendent, Employee Services, Foothills School Division
While children currently remain unable to attend school due to the COVID-19 pandemic, identifying domestic abuse may be more challenging to determine. By taking this training, professionals who work with children will gain skills to better understand, prevent and respond to incidents, as well as to proactively build safe and nurturing environments for children to thrive, both at home and in the community. While early childhood educators do take some courses in this area – such as trauma-informed care and non-violent crisis intervention training – this course offers an opportunity to refresh and tailor their skills to the challenges they may encounter today.
- There are more than 18,000 certified staff working in Alberta’s licensed child care programs.
- Child care staff are encouraged but not obligated to take the training, which will be funded by government.
- More than 5,000 school leaders have already taken the program and tens of thousands more are eligible.
- There are about 20,000 day care staff and 5,000 day camp workers eligible to take this training.